Could this be the week that pop finally ate itself, with records arriving that are based on records that were themselves based on other records? We shall see.
First we have to deal with changes at the top of the singles chart as Jason Derulo's run of glory is terminated after just one week by a new record from - hooray - a hot new British star. The huge popularity amongst singles buyers for urban sounds that led to the chart domination of the likes of Chipmunk, Ironik and Tinchy Stryder now manifests itself properly for the first time in 2010 as rapper Tinie Tempah crashes straight in at the top with his first major label single Pass Out. I take an evil pleasure in seeing the single at Number One as it is the kind of hardcore British rap track that will make more closed minded music fans recoil in horror with a "what the hell is this rubbish" look on their faces. If you "get" 'Pass Out' then you will love it to bits and understand completely why the 21 year old rapper has been showered with praise since his underground days and why at the first time of asking he finds himself at the very top of the charts.
Rihanna's Rude Boy makes a one place climb to sit at Number 2 this week, the second single from her Rated R album thus for the moment matching the peak of its predecessor Russian Roulette. Although rightly applauded for the trio of Number One singles she has managed thus far in her career, Rihanna has an equally wonderful (or should that be unlucky?) habit of charting singles at Number 2. Assuming it fails to progress further, Rude Boy will rank as the sixth Number 2 single of her career.
Now we all know that being environmentally friendly is all important these days and the conservation of resources by recycling wherever possible is to be applauded. On that basis the new entry at Number 8 is theoretically the "greenest" single release of the week. Never Be Your Woman is the latest release from Wiley, his second chart appearance of the year following the Chew Fu duet Take That which hit Number 20 in January. The single is based heavily on a Number One single from 13 years ago - Your Woman by White Town. That record was the creation of singer and producer Jyoti Mishra who created the record entirely in a bedroom studio (back in the days when this was something notable and impressive) and who appeared to be set for great things only for a dispute over creative direction with his label to scupper any further mainstream hits. Your Woman was itself based on an old recording, its distinctive saxophone riff lifted from a 1930s Al Bowlly recording My Woman. Wiley's Never Be Your Woman is thus a curious example of nested sampling, the track based on a sample from a record that was itself based on a sample. Pop will eat itself indeed.
Never Be Your Woman incidentally has a rather convoluted set of artist credits. Singer Emeli Sande receives a co-credit and thus lands her second Top 10 guest star slot following her work on Chipmunk's Diamond Rings in July last year. Although manifestly a Wiley track, the lead credit on the track is generously handed to producers Naughty Boy, the trio being an offshoot of the Bass Bumpers collective and who first charted back in 2006 with "Baywatch" theme remake Phat Beach (I'll Be Ready). [Ha! No, not quite, although that was an easy mistake to make at the time given that Bass Bumpers had indeed called themselves "Naughty Boy" for the Phat Beach single and at this point in time nobody knew who Shahid Khan, the man we all know and love as our very own Naughty Boy actually was.]
The final new entry to the Top 10 this week is a single which arrives on a wave of goodwill but which will possibly raise a few eyebrows owing to the way it has entered at a rather lowly Number 9. Gave It All Away is the first new single release from Boyzone since 2008 and as I'm sure most people reading this will be aware, the first record they have made since the death of Stephen Gately last October. The Mika-penned single is in the first instance the lead track from their forthcoming new album Brother but naturally takes on an added subtext as the four remaining members' tribute to their late colleague. To give the track an added poignancy, Gave It All Away was one of the last tracks recorded by Gately before his death, elevating the single still further as his final musical legacy. Sadly despite the songwriting pedigree and the sentimentality it inspires, the single suffers from the same problems that dogged the Irish boyband when they first reunited for a comeback back in 2008 - few outside their remaining hardcore actually have a reason to care. Whilst 90s contemporaries Take That reinvented themselves spectacularly for their own adult return, Boyzone's sound ticks along as if very little has changed in the last decade and a half. Hence their first single following their return Love You Any Way made a token chart appearance at Number 5 in October 2008 before swiftly exiting the sales rankings, and the sad truth is that the same will inevitably happen to Gave It All Away. The record will have its place in their chart story as the "Stephen Gately tribute record" and restores them to the Top 10 after their last single Better belied its title and peaked at Number 22 to become their smallest hit ever, but I suspect you will find anyone other than a bunch of 30 year old women who will really be all that bothered.
There are more superannuated sounds to be found in the track at Number 12 - Why Don't You by Gramaphonedzie. The track is the work of Serbian producer DJ Marko Milicevic and is best described as a techno-jazz fusion, sampling as it does the famous Peggy Lee recording of Why Don't You Do Right?. On the face of it the record is a fairly neat idea but for the fact that jazz and dance fusion has been done before - albeit some considerable time ago. Why Don't You is therefore not so much a brave new concept as a recreation of the vibe of Charleston-based instrumental club track Doop by the Dutch producers of the same name and which topped the UK charts back in March 1994. The Gramophondzie record isn't actually a bad one, but not only does it have the misfortune to chart in the same week as another jazz-sampling hit, jaded ears like these can't help but think we've heard it all before.
This is all a bit cynical and negative this week isn't it, time for a track that it is possible to get on board with. Ellie Goulding may have hoovered up all the "best new artist of the year" honours back in January but leading her a close second was 16 year old Daisy Coburn who trades as Daisy Dares You and who lands herself a first ever Top 40 hit single as Number One Enemy arrives at Number 13. Her style is what you would expect to result from Lily Allen being 20 years older and becoming lead singer of The Primatives, Daisy Dares You performing spiky pop rock tracks in an endearing estuary accent with songs that neatly walk the line between world weary cynicism and the bright innocence that comes from her being barely a child. That said, Number One Enemy takes a few listens to grow on you and at times appears to be little more than a series of hook lines in search of a chorus. No matter, it is one of the more diverting and most importantly widely appealing new singles of the week. A Number 13 entry for the moment suggests that just like Little Boots last year she has a little more work ahead of her turning hype into mainstream appeal.
Racing up the Top 40 to Number 23 this week are the Black Eyed Peas with their latest single Rock That Body. For the fourth single from the smash hit The E.N.D. album their American and European labels have gone in wildly different directions. Album track Imma Be is currently heading up the Hot 100 in the USA but on these shores the decision has been made to go with the more playful Rock That Body as a single. The chances of it giving them a fourth straight Number One single appear rather slim, its biggest challenge will be to make the Top 10, a chart placing they haven't missed since Let's Get It Started peaked at Number 11 in July 2004.
Down the lower end of the Top 40 there are new entries for Mary J Blige (I Am at Number 34) and Mumford & Sons (The Cave at Number 37) but the final word I guess has to go once more to the Glee Cast who land their sixth Top 40 single of the year with the last TV soundtrack release Defying Gravity which arrives at Number 38. The song dutifully becomes the first ever hit to be taken from the libretto of the musical Wicked which has been playing to packed houses since it first opened on both Broadway and in the West End since 2003. The original cast recording version of Defying Gravity was sung by Indina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, the latter coincidentally having charted in a guest starring role as a member of the Glee Cast when their version of Alone made Number 47 back in February. [And Indina (sic) Menzel would eventually become phenomenally famous for a certain soundtrack hit four years later. Funny that she gets her first namecheck here.]